How Coco Chanel Helped Me Stay True to My Plus Size Self in Paris

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When I archetypal arrived successful Paris arsenic an expat successful 2014, I was instantly caught up successful the whirlwind of trying to assimilate into the quintessentially Parisian mode of life. I felt similar I had been thrown into a daunting contention to perfectly maestro French, go a vino connoisseur, cognize however to whip up a cleanable soufflé—all successful a metropolis that was renowned for its fashion, food, and flair. And yet, the task felt similar an impossible, inauthentic pursuit.

Often, the City of Lights felt harsh and unwelcoming. The quest to acceptable into the Parisian perfect of quality was similar trying to compression into a mold that was ne'er designed for me. It was restricting, taking distant the amusive to relish successful the bountiful, scrumptious nutrient that Paris is celebrated for, and genuinely unrecorded the joie de vivre I yearned for.

Yet determination was 1 punctuation from manner satellite goddess Coco Chanel that comforted me:

“Beauty begins the infinitesimal you determine to beryllium yourself.”

Coco Chanel

I wrote the punctuation connected an scale paper that I placed successful my journal, acceptable to beryllium pulled retired and work erstwhile I needed the affirmation. I yet incorporated it into my novel, Plus Size successful Paris, inspired by my acquisition there.

Plus Size successful  Paris by Erin Zhurkin

The powerfulness of Chanel’s words besides helped maine observe however I could enactment existent to myself portion being an outlier successful a metropolis arsenic polished arsenic Paris. These insights tin assistance anyone beryllium who they are anyplace successful the world:

Embrace Your Inner Beauty

Embracing one’s interior quality is the archetypal measurement toward fostering a genuine appreciation for the quality that surrounds us. By recognizing our worth and disconnecting it from carnal appearance, we escaped ourselves to prosecute with the satellite connected a deeper level.

Appreciating our essence and unsocial contributions to immoderate situation we find ourselves successful – similar being a positive size pistillate successful Paris – we go much almighty than the norms that restrict us.

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Reconnect with Joy

Rediscovering what brings america joyousness is simply a almighty mode to heighten our experiences successful unfamiliar places. Engaging successful practices that pat into our interior contented guides america towards fulfilling adventures.

By nurturing a regular transportation with our authentic selves, we unfastened doors to caller opportunities and experiences that align with our existent desires.

Don’t Try to Fit In

Rather than trying to conform and acceptable in, the way to meaningful connections lies successful embracing our existent selves. Belonging does not necessitate changing who we are but alternatively being unapologetically ourselves.

Plus Size Woman Laughing Michael Poley of Poley Creative for AllGoMichael Poley of Poley Creative for AllGo

By expressing our authenticity, adjacent successful a overseas environment, we tin foster connections that transcend taste boundaries, creating opportunities for expansion, growth, and communal understanding.

Take Small Risks

Taking tiny risks allows for idiosyncratic maturation without feeling overwhelmed oregon depleted. By letting spell of self-consciousness and allowing oneself to bask the moment, connections tin beryllium formed successful the astir improbable places.

Taking tiny steps extracurricular of our comfortableness zones often yields tremendous rewards and expands our horizons.

Image via Natural Woman Collection via CanvaImage via Natural Woman Collection via Canva

Chanel’s words guided maine backmost to my core, reminding maine of my individuality, my creativity that had been overshadowed by the demands of motherhood and societal expectations. The essence of my travel successful Paris became astir unbecoming the layers of expectations and norms that were not genuinely me.

With the assistance of Chanel’s words, I learned to admit Paris from an observer’s standpoint, respecting and admiring its civilization without losing my essence successful the process. It was a liberating experience, 1 that brought maine backmost to my originative roots and reminded maine of my individuality extracurricular societal expectations.

To anyone venturing into unfamiliar territory and struggling to consciousness similar you acceptable in, retrieve these words. They whitethorn usher you arsenic they did me. No substance the context, what genuinely matters is being existent to oneself.


Erin Zhurkin, writer of PLUS SIZE IN PARIS, is an American overseas. After climbing the firm ladder for galore years erstwhile the expat beingness came calling, that ladder was enactment into retention and her originative beingness came down from the attic. With her originative dependable present astatine the forefront, she’s surviving beingness crossed cultures and being inspired each measurement of the way.

To date, she’s lived successful six antithetic countries, including Ireland, the UK, Russia and France. Because of these affluent and sometimes hard beingness experiences, she feels called to constitute stories that resonate crossed cultures, bringing to airy the feeling of dépaysement that occurs. She presently lives successful Seoul, Korea with her household and 2 cats, Coco, and Fifi.